Boxing great Muhammad Ali still in fair condition in hospital: report

Fri Jun 3, 2016 7:00pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali remained in fair condition on Friday while hospitalized for a respiratory issue, a newspaper quoted a spokesman as saying, as speculation swirled about his health.

The family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Ali's stay in a Phoenix-area hospital was expected to be brief.

With an online report saying the 74-year-old ex-boxer was on life support, Gunnell said that every time Ali was in the hospital it triggered a "media frenzy," the Courier-Journal reported.

Gunnell had disclosed on Thursday that Ali was in a hospital, which has not been identified, in fair condition. He did not return repeated requests for comment.

Ali has suffered from Parkinson's disease for more than three decades and has kept a low profile in recent years.

The New York Post and the International Business Times cited a report on the Radar Online website that said Ali had been placed on life support.

Radar Online quoted "an insider" as saying, "Doctors are telling the family that it likely won’t be long until he passes away."

Britain's Mirror reported that four of his nine children had rushed to the former champion's side.

The Associated Press cited two people familiar with his condition as saying that Ali was facing more serious health problems than in his previous hospital stays because of his Parkinson's disease.   Continued...

Muhammad Ali poses at the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos. REUTERS/Andreas Meier